The thing about opinions is, everyone has one. Even next doors cat had the opinion that he had the right to shit in my son's sandpit. I debated his opinion on his antisocial behaviour quite swiftly. With the use of a cricket bat. You'd be surprise how well you can reverse sweep a tabby for six.
Recently I've started to doubt the opinions of those I know. I mean, can you ever really know someone? Can you ever trust anyone? Old friends, school friends, colleagues, lovers, siblings, wives, husbands. I've certainly had the trust chip removed from my motherboard. Divorce can do that. And lawyers lie with expert precision. I recently changed lawyers but I'll come back to that tangle of barbed wire in my next column.
So who do you trust?
Well I have my red army of friends and a doctor. I call her Dr Calm because she's been an amazing support through the divorce stress. I only have to hear her voice and I feel better. I really great G.P.
A genuine doctor.
And the thing about finding the right doctor for you is sometimes you just know. You know the good ones from the bad ones. My childhood doctor had early on set Alzheimer's which led to quite a few misdiagnosed illnesses and medication that wasn't right. I remember seeing him write out a prescription over The Telegraphs cryptic crossword.
Measles, mumps, rubella? Big difference. Huge.
Anyway, I've moved house a lot. Signed up to many different practices. One time I needed a cortisone injection into my wrist. I turned up terrified but when I opened the door I found a red faced, jovial, chunky chap, reading Private Eye and eating a packet of pork scratching.
Yeah, pub snacks and prescriptions.
"Just a second," he said knocking back the last of the packet and licking his fingers, "I'll just wash my hands."
So my nerves were assuaged by the thought of what would happen if I had to come back. Would he be smoking a pipe and playing darts? Perhaps there would be a ferret? A pint of bitter in a handled jug? In fairness to him my opinion on the inappropriate pub snacks was irrelevant. The Injection to my wrist didn't hurt and it worked.
"Is that it?" I said expecting to be agony.
"Yeah you'll feel the difference in a week or two." He said opening a packet of space raiders.
Last year I was feeling a bit crap so I went home to visit my parents and they tried to lift my spirits with great food and my father's wonderful sense of humour. Although sometimes he's funny without realising it. I truly believe Larry David met him and based Curb on him. Like the time he Whatsapped me to ask how I was doing.
Dad: Just ok?
Me: Well I just had my maintenance cut by 50% so I'm skint.
Dad: Can he do that?
Me: He can do what he wants.
LONG DELAY IN REPLY
Dad: Did you change the Netflix password?
Me: No I cancelled Netflix. Can't really afford it.
Dad: Well you could have told me!
Me: Did you not read the bit about me being skint?
Dad: Of course! You've all my sympathies but how do you think I felt when I couldn't watch 'house of cards' etc?
It was the 'etc' that made me laugh.
Anyway, on that visit Mum cooked, did the super gran bit and when everyone was asleep, Dad and I stayed up watching Jerry Lewis films. Watch The Nutty professor next time you're feeling like shit. It's medicine for any depressed moment.
Sadly when you've been married for 54 years it's hard to understand how hard divorce can be. They've tried. Dad is a great listener, whereas Mum talks. Talks to everyone about everything. It was on that particular visit that they came back from a trip to Sainsbury's and I set about helping mum put the shopping away whist her talkomatic was set to level 11. I wasn't really listening at first, I was too distracted by my Dad trying to filch three chocolate bourbons without being noticed. He slunk off into the living room victoriously.
The talking machine suddenly stopped.
"I saw that!" She said marching into the living room and demanding the stolen biscuits she said, "You'll spoil your lunch if you eat those."
Dad handed back the loot but as she stormed back towards me, I craned my neck to see Dad grinning and lifting the hidden third biscuit out of his top pocked, he gave her two fingers.
"What was I saying?" she asked.
"I can't remember, you were saying all of the things."
"Oh yes! I was talking to a doctor about your situation today."
"What? You were talking to your doctor about my divorce?"
"No, not my doctor, I met him in Sainsbury's..."
"Wait a minute, you were talking to some random doctor about my divorce by the bloody baguettes?"
"Calm down darling, his son has just been through a similar divorce and besides he's not a stranger, he's known you for years."
I immediately thought of Dr Alzheimer's but he was dead.
"Known me for years? Which doctor is that then?"
"Oh you know, Dr Davieson, he still lives up by the golf club and...."
"Mum for fucks sake! He's not an actual doctor he's my old physics teacher!"